Little Man's orthopedic appointment was yesterday. We waited 2 hours for a 10 minute appointment, and I came close to walking out and heading home because I was so irritated. Luckily, Little Man was being an angel. And we'd already paid a $40 copay. Yeesh.
When the doctor finally came in and talked to us, it was a whirlwind of information in a short burst. After I explained his formal diagnosis (birth injury, hydrocephalus corrected, epilepsy, developmental delay), she seemed... skeptical? I don't know the correct way to describe her face. She asked to see Little Man's walk, and examined his foot. Immediately she noticed how tight his foot was and I mentioned his previous AFOs (leg braces) and how he'd outgrown them years ago but his gait hadn't gotten worse until recently.
Within seconds, she let us know that his muscles were now so tight he will probably require surgery to help flatten out his foot again. And even after surgery, he would be back in AFO's for awhile. Our only hope to prevent surgery would be to take him to another specialist who would inject him with Botox. This would hopefully relax the muscles enough to get him into casts or AFOs again. She wasn't sure it's a viable option for him because of how tight his muscles are now, but it is worth a shot. Either way, something has to be done or he will lose more and more mobility.
Then the doctor looked at me and told me I was doing a great job as a mom. And gently asked if I realized that what Little Man's dealing with is a form of cerebral palsy.
It's just another diagnosis. Another set of words. It didn't and doesn't change a thing. But it felt like I was punched in the gut. And so I cried for a minute and then she handed me some paperwork and hugged us both.
Within minutes we were on our way to get Little Man a Happy Meal for being a trooper and making it the whole morning without throwing a tantrum. It looks like it's going to be another crazy ride towards what looks like some more big medical decisions. Phone calls start today!